NH Company Pledges Greener Luxury Paper Bags

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Here is something you probably didn’t know: Some of those luxury shopping bags your purchases are placed in at stores like Versace, Prada and J. Crew may have contributed to tropical rainforest deforestation.

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Here’s how according to the Rainforest Action Network, an advocacy group: Some of the bags are made from trees cut unsustainably in Indonesia’s threatened rainforest, gobbling up elephant and orangutan habitat, harming local indigenous populations and releasing tons of heat trapping carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. The Network, and other international environmental groups, has been targeting Asia Pulp and Paper company – one of the world’s largest pulp and paper companies – who they say refused to use more sustainable harvesting practices and avoid threatened areas.

Now, New Hampshire luxury packaging company, PAK 2000 based in Mirror Lake – a powerhouse in the luxury paper bag market – is taking a huge green step forward to ensure their bags are made with paper harvested in more environmentally friendly ways. According to the Rainforest Action Network, PAK 2000 has announced they will cut ties with Asia Pulp and Paper and begin developing a “leadership” paper policy early next year.

“Indonesia is ground zero for deforestation and climate change,’’’ said Lafcadio Cortesi of the Action Network. "Through its actions PAK 2000 is demonstrating that paper from rainforest destruction is not a bargain for the fashion industry or for our children's future."

According to the Network, PAK 2000’s announcement is part of a trend of companies like Tiffany’s & Co., H&M Group, Gucci Group and Ferragamo who have announced commitments to end relationships with controversial suppliers such as Asia Pulp and Paper.

PAK 2000 has committed to phasing out all controversial and high conservation value forest fiber from its paper products within 180 days, according to the Network.

I have calls or emails in to PAK 2000 and Asia Pulp and Paper – will post their comments once I get them.

Boston Globe
Beth Daley
Thursday, December 3, 2009

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